2022’s Top Stories: GAC Actress Jen Lilley Welcomes ‘Redemptive’ Baby Girl

Photo from Jen Lilley’s Instagram

2022’s Top Stories: GAC Actress Jen Lilley Welcomes ‘Redemptive’ Baby Girl

Movieguide® Contributor

Jen Lilley and husband Jason Wayne welcomed their “miracle” baby Jacqueline “Jackie” Grace on Thursday, May 12.

The former Movieguide® Awards Gala host is also a mother to Kayden, 5, and Jeffrey, 3, and daughter, Julie, 3.

“Julie was planned, but this was definitely a surprise,” Lilley told People magazine. “I felt very pregnant and I thought, ‘This is very weird.’ I was excited, but also it was so strange. I was in this long customs line in Canada waiting for my work permit, and I’m texting my husband and our nanny via group text, ‘I think I’m pregnant right now?'”

Lilley said she was concerned about the pregnancy through the months leading up to birth.

“Up until the day of delivery, I was still processing this pregnancy. I had been wanting a baby again, but assumed and hoped it would be through #fostercare since that’s my heart’s constant burden,” Lilly said. “Don’t misunderstand, Jason and I were so excited and thankful for our sweet baby, but to be transparent, it was a bit of a mental struggle for me to feel like I was denying another baby a home by being pregnant myself, and to be super vulnerable, it was hard for me to put a lot of my in front of camera career on hold to go through another year of pregnancy. And then I would judge myself for my attitude about it constantly because pregnancy is a gift and a miracle.”

The actress continued: “So many women can’t get pregnant or miscarry (I’ve miscarried twice, I know the heartache the accompanies such loss even years later) or have to go through IVF which is a truly sacrificial and selfless journey. IVF mommas are warriors! I truly believe that every single child is a gift from the Lord (Ps 127) no matter the timing, but being pregnant was still a lot for me to process. Like I said, I was still processing it the night she finally arrived 😂 Then not only did we get this most amazing baby, but my delivery and birth story was so redemptive, especially in this current season of our lives. I think this blanket says it all. God knew (our) hearts needed you, Jackie Grace. We’re on day 4 of knowing you outside of my womb and you’ve already brought so much joy and peace and light and love into our home. Thank you Jesus that You alone order our steps. And thank You Father for giving us gifts we didn’t even know our hearts desperately needed. Help me and Jason to love every child who enters our home with excellence and grace.”

Ultimately, the couple selected a name that they thought would reflect this mission.

“Jackie means ‘God will protect her,’ Grace means ‘God will empower her,’” Lilley added.

Movieguide® previously reported of Lilley:

Actress, singer and former Movieguide® Awards host Jen Lilley said that despite her many accolades, her personal favorite achievement is her time spent as a mother.

“I suppose my top three professional projects are THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS, U.S.S. CHRISTMAS and THE ARTIST, if I had to pick. And personally, being a foster and adoptive parent through Childhelp and working to establish the Tulsa Girls Home are my greatest achievements,” she told City Lifestyle.

Lilley began her work with the organization in 2011 and is candid about her advocacy for children’s safety and well-being.

“I could literally write a book on my foster care journey and the ways it’s shaped me and adjusted my perspective on so many things in life, but I’ll simply say that being a foster and adoptive parent is the greatest experience of my life,” Lilley said. “While foster parenting is also the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it’s the most rewarding. The way it breaks you as a person is difficult but beautiful, because it opens your heart to new levels of love and empathy you really can’t experience any other way… I understand that not everyone is called to be a foster parent, but everyone is called to care for the children in the broken foster care system.”

“These are children who experienced an extremely traumatic set of circumstances through no fault of their own, who deserve the same love, safety, and education as any other child,” she added. “If we don’t do something, who will? There are so many ways to get involved.” 


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